Poltergeist (1982) - Tobe Hooper

Poltergeist was, at one time a creepy and scary film. I remember watching it, at a young age and being really scared. Throughout the years, the film has lost a great deal of its luster and hasn't held up really well against the more intense horror flicks. That standing, this is a really solid movie about realistic paranormal phenomena that takes its liberties with some of the realistic aspects. Does that make any sense?

Steven Spielberg is notorious for making some really, huge, and overly adventurous movies that feature a good cross section of average American life. This movie is no exception. The main characters are delivered in very average light. They are an average American family that is haunted by this entity throughout numerous movies. Even the students and doctors that survey the entity are average. 

The movies plot deals with an evil ghostly entity that is terrorizing a young girl. It has opened a dimensional gate in her closet and sucked her in. Devastating her family and driving them into a reclusive state. They open their home to a group of students from UC Irvine, that want to play Ghosthunters and bite off a bit more than they can chew. 

This is a fun movie to watch with your friends. Its from the eighties so you have tons to pick-a-part and over analyze. The movie has some pretty funny acting and really dated effects. The gore even seems a bit... well... off. For example there is a scene, pretty famous scene, where a student rips his face apart in the bathroom mirror. This scene is funny because of how horrible it looks. That just about sums the entire movie up.

There is no death. It is only a transition to a different sphere of consciousness.


  • The hands that pull the student's face off are Steven Spielberg's. 
  • The sign at the Holiday Inn reads, Welcome Dr. Fantasy and Friends. Dr. Fantasy is a nickname for producer Frank Marshall. 
  • The film was originally given a R rating, but the filmmakers protested successfully and got a PG rating (the PG-13 rating did not exist at the time).